Toxicologists investigate the effects that chemical, physical or biological agents have on individuals, animals and the environment to determine if they are harmful.

Graduate students in toxicology typically come from a variety of chemical and life sciences backgrounds. The graduate program is designed to prepare you for positions in academia, government and industry (for-profit and nonprofit). Courses are selected in accordance with your research needs and career goals.

Program Highlights

  • You will have opportunities to present your research and win awards at national and regional toxicology meetings.
  • The program has an extensive alumni network in academia, consulting, government and industry that provides you with career development advice and potential job leads.
  • Our toxicology faculty are worldwide leaders with major roles in the most prominent toxicology societies.

Potential Careers

  • Health science technician
  • Research scientist
  • University faculty
  • Toxicologist


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The toxicology graduate program offers opportunities to work closely with faculty on a variety of interdisciplinary research projects to investigate the effects toxin or chemical exposures on health and well-being.

Student with microscope

Research Opportunities

  • Environmental causes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and essential tremors
  • Fetal origin of adult diseases due to early exposure to chemicals (metals, pesticides)
  • Molecular and systems toxicology: identification of the molecular mechanisms of the adverse effects associated with a chemical exposure 
  • Radiation-caused cellular toxicities
  • Rodent model of Parkinson’s disease, zebrafish-based genomic analysis, in vivo and in vitro models of blood-brain barrier transport of toxins
  • Epidemiological identification and characterization of exposed populations and biomarkers

Research Facilities

  • Life Science MRI facility
  • The Birck Nanotechnology Center
  • The Bindley Bioscience Center
  • The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering
  • Purdue’s Center for the Environment


Applications submitted prior to January 10, 2023 will be considered for fellowships and awards.

Jason Cannon

Jason Cannon | Program Director

For questions regarding the toxicology graduate program, please contact